The Evolution of the Marketing Function in Business: How to Maximize Growth for SMEs and VSEs
Source: McKinsey & Company Article
Marketing has long been viewed as a secondary function in businesses, particularly in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Very Small Enterprises (VSEs). However, with the rapid evolution of the business and technological landscape, the role of marketing and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) has become increasingly crucial for growth and sustainability. This article explores this transformation and its positive impact on SMEs and VSEs.
The Traditional Role of Marketing in SMEs and VSEs
Traditionally, marketing in SMEs and VSEs was often limited to short-term promotional activities like advertising campaigns and social media. However, this approach is no longer sufficient in today's competitive business landscape, where consumers are increasingly demanding.
The Evolution of the CMO Role
The role of the CMO has undergone a significant transformation in recent years. It has evolved from a mere executor of marketing tasks to a strategic partner in business growth. This transformation can be better understood by examining CMO archetypes: the Loner, the Friend, and the Unifier.
This type of CMO primarily focuses on short-term activities like advertising campaigns and social media. They are often perceived as executors rather than strategic partners. This profile can be limiting for small businesses seeking growth, as it often lacks a long-term vision and solid growth strategy.
This CMO generally has one or two allies in the executive team, often the CEO, but has not succeeded in fully disseminating the marketing agenda across the organization. This profile can bring some value to SMEs in terms of growth but often lacks the influence needed to drive significant organizational changes.
This CMO is a master of cross-functional collaboration. He or she ensures that marketing has a clearly defined role in the eyes of executive peers and adopts the language and mindset of other executives. The Unifier brings strategic vision, close collaboration with other departments, and the ability to achieve growth objectives.
Why This Evolution is Crucial for SMEs and VSEs
The "Unifier" profile is particularly beneficial for SMEs and VSEs. It brings strategic vision, close collaboration with other departments like finance and technology, and the ability to achieve growth objectives. Companies with a Unifier CMO are more likely to exceed their growth targets, as this CMO knows how to mobilize the entire organization around a common goal.
How SMEs and VSEs Can Adopt This New Approach
To adopt this new approach, SMEs and VSEs can start by establishing a clear vision, integrating modern marketing technologies, and adopting a culture of collaboration. It is also crucial to measure the impact of marketing using data and analytics to maximize ROI.
The evolution of the CMO role is not merely a passing trend but rather a fundamental transformation in how businesses approach growth and strategy. For SMEs and VSEs, this evolution offers an invaluable opportunity to rethink their approach to marketing, strategy, and cross-functional collaboration.
By adopting the "Unifier" profile for their CMO or marketing team, SMEs and VSEs are not merely following a trend but are making a strategic decision that can have a significant impact on their long-term growth. This type of marketing leadership not only better aligns marketing objectives with those of the business but also creates a culture of innovation (How to Foster an innovation Culture) and collaboration that can be a real growth engine.
It's time for SMEs and VSEs to recognize that marketing is much more than a series of isolated tactics. It's a strategic function that, when well-executed, can be the catalyst for long-term growth and success. By understanding and adopting the new dynamics of the CMO role, SMEs and VSEs are not merely surviving in a competitive market but are positioning themselves for sustainable growth and success.
How We Apply This New Vision at INFINI
At INFINI, we have a vision that transcends the mere realm of marketing. Although our expertise is strongly rooted in this sector, we have broadened our scope to encompass a more comprehensive business strategy. Our approach is inspired by the philosophy of "Unifier," aimed at creating a continuous ecosystem of innovation and growth for the companies we collaborate with.
We believe that marketing is just one element of a successful business strategy. By adopting the "Unifier" methods, we have implemented processes that encourage innovation, cross-departmental collaboration, and long-term vision. This not only optimizes marketing efforts but also creates a synergy between all aspects of the business, from product development to human resource management.
In summary, our goal is not merely to provide effective marketing solutions but to guide companies through a continuous process of innovation and growth. We are convinced that this holistic approach is the key to helping our clients thrive in an increasingly competitive business environment.